1 December 2023

Photograph by Eric Tabuchi and Nelly Monnier, taken in Graçay, in Berry Champagne, in 2023.

Still or moving image? The Rencontres d’Arles, which will be held from July 3 to September 24 and will present nearly thirty meetings, have decided to build a bridge between photography and cinema, with several exhibitions that explore the images produced by filmmakers. We will thus be able to discover the photos of Agnès Varda (1928-2019) in Sète which inspired her future films, Polaroids by Wim Wenders taken on the set of The American Friend (1976, released in 1977), “scrapbooks”, these notebooks between diary and photo album made by filmmakers who thus give access to their creative process, or the set photographs of Pierre Zucca (1943-1995). We could also associate with these exhibitions that of the American Gregory Crewdson, whose sophisticated stagings evoking America often have much in common with film sets.

During a press conference held at the Ministry of Culture on Friday March 24, the festival management, represented by Christoph Wiesner and Aurélie de Lanlay, also underlined the event’s commitment to ecology – the association has thus worked with Les Augures, a collective that accompanies the actors of the cultural service wishing to engage in this direction. A number of exhibitions echo this theme, focusing on territories damaged by man. Thus, an exhibition with three voices at the Monoprix, the high place of the festival, will show the projects of Mathieu Asselin, Tanja Engelberts and Sheng-Wen Lo, on the nuisances which threaten the ecological balance in the surroundings of Arles.

The duo Eric Tabuchi and Nelly Monnier will try to find ways to reduce the stifling heat of the Ground Control site, a former SNCF warehouse, to present part of their long-term project across France, entitled l’Atlas of natural regions – including a set of gray skies, an ironic echo of the relentless Arles sun.

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Also to be discovered are the immense images of the Peruvian Roberto Huarcaya, who has chosen to become one with nature, by taking photos of the Amazonian forest in collaboration with members of the Ese’Eja ethnic group, dealing in a poetic way with the problem of water pollution and deforestation.

Women’s and feminist works

This year, the festival will revisit the work of well-known historical figures, such as that of the American Saul Leiter (1923-2013), author of a long-unpublished color work. An exhibition that echoes that presented by the Luma Foundation around the work of Diane Arbus (1923-1971), the great American portrait painter born the same year as Saul Leiter. But the images of strangers are not neglected: a set of photographs of transvestite men, taken in the 1950s in New York and brought together under the title of Casa Susannawill testify to the hidden life of an LGBTQIA + community in a time of repression.

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